By John Edwards

Liverpool suffered a pre-Wembley setback on Friday after being warned their bold ambition to recruit Johan Cruyff is doomed to fail.

EXCLUSIVE: Liverpool chiefs can forget about hiring Cruyff to drive Anfield revolution

The Ajax and Holland legend is Liverpool’s preferred choice as director of football after Damien Comolli paid the price for their faltering form in the Barclays Premier League.

Concerns were immediately raised about the viability of a partnership between Kenny Dalglish and the strong-minded Cruyff, but it is unlikely to be put to the test after sources close to the Dutchman claimed Liverpool had ‘no chance’ of prising him away from his home in Barcelona.

Cruyff accepted a boardroom role at Ajax 14 months ago but still refused to relocate from the Catalan capital, where, apart from one six-year spell, he has lived since 1973. He flies to Amsterdam for a two-day stay once a month but otherwise relies on telephone contact with coach Frank de Boer for information on club affairs.

An Ajax source said: ‘His children and grandchildren are all with him in Barcelona, where he has lived for the past 24 years. He will be 65 in less than a fortnight. He is not going to uproot now and move to Liverpool.’